Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

English research degrees

Postgraduate - Research

MA by Research PhD

Looking for a funded PhD?

Check out our current PhD scholarship oppurtunities now

About our programmes

English at Hull is friendly, inclusive and supportive, and characterised by the internationally excellent research that informs our postgraduate degree supervision. Our academic staff have expertise in all literary periods, from Old Norse to 21st century literature. We have renowned expertise in medieval literature and medievalism, Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, early modern literature and politics, 19th-century studies (particularly the novel and the visual arts), modern and contemporary literature (particularly poetry and fiction), genre fiction (gothic, crime and science fiction), and creative writing.

We offer two research options for postgraduate students – MRes English (Literature and Creative Writing pathways) or a PhD (English or Creative Writing). You have access to the superb facilities of the newly refurbished Brynmor Jones Library, as well as our Graduate School. PhD students have exclusive use of the library’s Postgraduate Lounge. Research is strongly interdisciplinary and enhanced by the research networks of its centres: the Andrew Marvell Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies. Training in subject-specific research skills and methodologies is provided by the department, on top of the University’s Postgraduate Training Scheme.


Open for admission in 2018/19

Full time Part time
MA by Research 1 year 2 years
PhD 4 years 7 years

Start in January, June or September


Our academic experts welcome applications for postgraduate research across a broad range of topics. Research broadly fits into six key themes:


Research in medieval literature at the University of Hull encompasses a complementary but diverse range of specialisms, ranging from Old Norse to medievalism. .

Given the interdisciplinary nature of all medieval research and the ways in which it is grounded in archival study, colleagues in the medieval cluster have research interests in multiple categories. Specific areas of interest include textual practice and identity; mythology and moralia; and epistemologies of medievalism in film, media and television


Early Modern

The Renaissance and Early Modern cluster has strong research and teaching expertise in Shakespeare; sixteenth- and seventeenth-century drama and poetry; literature and politics; Renaissance intertextualities; drama and visual culture; and the literature of ruins. 


18th and 19th Century

The eighteenth and nineteenth-century specialists in the Department of English constitute a lively and enterprising research culture at the cutting-edge of international and interdisciplinary scholarship. Research is supported by the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies (CNCS).


Modern and Contemporary

Research expertise includes work on: D. H. Lawrence; crime fiction; gothic, horror and science fiction; the novel; women's writing; women's suffrage literature; poetry; literature and place; literature and the life cycle (age, youth, children's literature); literature and law; and auto/biography.


Creative Writing

Creative writers in the Department of English have expertise in creative non-fiction, crime fiction, the novel, short fiction including flash fiction, and poetry. Research is supported by The Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing, which has hosted many of the world's finest writers such as Hilary Mantel, Christopher Hampton, Edna O'Brien, and Kate Mosse.



The Department of English has research expertise in Critical Discourse Analysis; and teaching expertise in social aspects of language in use: language and power, language and journalism, stylistics. Language experts in the Department of English work across disciplinary boundaries and maintain links with colleagues in other departments, most notably with the School of Modern Languages.


  • Dr Micheal Farelly

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £4,260 (full-time) 
  • Home/EU: £2,130 (part-time)
  • International: £14,000 (full-time)

Please note, fees for International applicants for 2018/19 have not yet been confirmed, and may increase.

These fees are for all research degree programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit

For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

The University’s Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of modules (both generic and discipline-specific) to support research students through their programme.

Find out more

The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help.

Find out more

The Graduate School provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential.

Find out more

Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chain to slavery.

Find out more

Entry requirements

Students with a BA degree of first or second upper class or equivalent in any discipline of the Arts and Humanities can apply.

MRes English (Literature and Creative Writing pathways)

Two academic references, a sample of your written work in literary studies or creative writing, amounting to at least 4,000 words, and a dissertation proposal.

PhD English or PhD Creative Writing

Two academic references, ideally from your MA studies. A sample of your written work in literary studies or creative writing, amounting to at least 10,000 words, and a thesis proposal.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.